The Thin Line Between Safety and Death

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Commonly Ignored Motorcycle Rules
  • Wearing DOT/ECE Certified Helmets
  • Failing To Wear Proper Riding Gear
  • Do Not Carry Anything that Prevents Access to Handlebars
  • Showing Off With Little to No Riding Experience

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There is a thin line between safety and death. If the idea of seeing a motorcycle rubber side up offends you, then we are in agreement.

Taking life for granted is a foolish man’s curse, especially when he/she has straddled more engine than they can carry.

When tackling a two or three wheel motorcycle, we tend to feel empowered by the power we are riding.

There are no saints here, I was on that fool’s errand once upon a time.

The fear of losing it has brought me back to my senses.

We can all agree that accidents happen, but us riders are not supposed to be the cause of them for being reckless.

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Safety and Death: Facts and Statistics About Motorcycle Wrecks

To wear a helmet or not to wear a helmet is NOT the question.

A number of new riders believe that it looks sexy to ride without a helmet.

They see seasoned riders and think “I can do it too!”

What they do not realize is that seasoned rider put in the time to take his training wheel off.

Although, I still would not recommend it, a number of ‘hobby’ riders like to go bare.

Being reckless comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Safety is the friend we have when we hit the saddle.

The chart below contains the motorcycle fatality statistics for the years 2017 – 2019 as presented by the Insurance Information Institute.

YearFatalitiesRegistered MotorcyclesFatality Rate Per 100,000 Registered MotorcyclesVehicle Miles Traveled (Millions)Fatality Rate Per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled
Source: Insurance Information Institute

The actual 10 year chart, 2010 – 2019, show the total fatalities as 49,064. In fact, there has been a decline for the last three years on the chart.

The reality is that recklessness is the number one killer of motorcyclists.

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Who is Wearing A DOT/ECE Certified Helmets

Who is wearing a DOT/ECE certified helmet?

Everyone should be.

Protecting that gray matter should be the first thing on your mind.

Or your brains can be the first thing on the pavement. It is always your choice.

A good helmet the twill protect your head does not have to be expensive.

There are numerous helmets on the market that will not break you piggy bank.

While the ECE (EU) testing is for more rigorous than that of the DOT (US), the US rated helmets should provide decent amount of protection for the head.

It is rumored that everyone will have a fall at some point in their riding journey.

However, just because you fall does not mean you have to die or suffer a major head trauma.

A well fitted certified helmet can make all the difference in the world.

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Failure to Wear the Proper Riding Gear

I am certain that we have all been guilty of mounting up in a pari of shorts, flip-flops, and a tank top.

Dressed like that, in the event of an accident that pavement is not going to be kind. It may only peal you down to pink, embed rocks, pavement, or sand into your flesh.

Do not get me wrong, it may be okay to wear shorts while riding, occasionally. Whose bottom is at stake?

For the most part, a new rider should wear a decent jacket, jeans, gloves, and boots.

In addition, a good pair of googles would not hurt if the helmet is not a full face or modular helmet.

No! A windbreaker nor a hoodie constitute a decent riding jacket.

Should you get drug across the payment, there are generally several layers before you start losing skin.

Jacket Types:

  • Leather
  • Textile
  • Mesh
  • Armored
  • Combination
  • Leather Vest

There are literally thousands of jackets on the market.

Find one that is compatible the type of riding that you do.

You may wind up with two or three hanging in the closet.

Remember, be particular about what you buy because gear is NOT the same.

In addition, price does not always guarantee a better product.

As a touring rider, I currently have a Viking Cycle mesh with liner and a leather vest dawned over a hoodie.

Yes, I am in the market for a leather jacket soon.

However, I just need to slim down in the gut area for the look I like.

In addition, jackets have different styles:

  • Classic
  • Racing
  • Touring
  • Adventure
  • Off-Road

The same rule applies when purchasing pants and gloves to complete your ensemble.

Safety first, then vanity shall follow.

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The Thin Line Between Safety and Death - ensemble
Riding Gear

Motorcycle Safety Tips from The Pros

Any motorcycle pro will tell you, “You will never learn too much when it comes to safety.

Nonetheless, putting those tips into practice makes all the difference in the world.

Increase safety awareness and riding proficiency by incorporating the following:

  • Ride like a pro
  • Wear the proper gear
  • Always ride in a responsible manner
  • Be a Leader – set the example for others riders
  • Properly maintain your bike

Ride like a pro by keeping your head on a swivel.

Eyes on the mirrors every 3 to 5 seconds, depend on your peripheral vision 100% of the time, and avoid distractions.

Austin Rothbard at Twisted Road states that you should always find the right bike for you.

Wear the proper gear cannot be emphasized enough.

Road rash is not for the faint of heart. Your gear can to some degree reduce your physical damage in a crash.

Riding in a responsible manner should go without saying; however, liquid courage, showing off, or driving reckless are often the culprit in many accidents.

Even the lack of sleep can cause you to make a mistake.

Most riders allow peer pressure to dictate the caution followed by many riders.

Nevertheless, you have to be the one to say no so that others will follow your lead.

Yes, there is always that one in the bunch that will goat others into mimicking their recklessness.

However, they will opt to follow the safer rider over one wishes to knock on the door of death.

Be the bigger rider, your friends will thank you later.

Finally, properly maintain your bike for your safety.

Bald tires, low brakes, and a scratched windshield are but a few potential dangers.

What happens to a bike at 60 mph with a loose chain?

What happens when you fail to perform maintenance on your shaft drive? Right, a wreck!

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Getting The Proper Class License Is A Must

Safety Course

Okay, so you have been driving a car for a few years and been riding bike since the third grade.


All states require you possess an endorsement to legally ride motorcycles.

There are thousands of motorcycle basic rider course available across the US.

These courses are generally completed in 15 – 20 hours.

Times often vary between the different training centers.

So training centers provide riders with a bike and full face helmet, if needed.

While at others, like Harley Davidson, you ride your own bike.

Each training center provides a must have list.

These are items required for you to sit their class. Items like:

  • Helmet (DOT Rated)
  • Full Fingered Gloves
  • Long Sleeve Shirt or Jacket
  • Full Length Pants
  • Over-the-ankle, Rubber Soled, Leather Boots

The less experience you have, the more particular you should be about when you attend.

Cold and wet weather should be scratched off the list, if possible.

New riders need to be able to focus on the course, not running around with chattering teeth or frozen finger and toes.

Look at the course dates before enrolling since the schedules vary by days of the week.

Some course date are shorter or longer than others.

As far as cost, courses run any where from $99 – $500.

Theses fees are non-refundable without a valid excuse for backing out/missing your scheduled class.

The center looses money by holding a seat for you and you do not show up or have to cancel.

Reluctantly, they are not in the business for that.

Consequently, the successful completion of the course yields you a certificate of completion and a waiver to deliver to your local driver’s license office.

Remember, you are still required to take the written/computerized test to obtain your license.

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So that concludes our breakdown on the thin line between safety and death.

If you are serious about riding, do your homework, establish your riding principles, and strive to be the best rider you can be.

Do not take anything for granted, your life or the life of your passengers may depend on it. Stay safe and remember to keep the rubber side down!

And I close out by saying, we need what we need!

If we keep our minds right, we can keep our bodies tight!

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If you have not done so already, please read the previous topics to benefit from the information. 

Feel free to reach out in the space below. I welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with you.

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To your success and growth,


Founder of The Squirrelly Biker

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